2014 Player Capsule: IF Andrew Romine

TigsTown continues its look at the key contributors from the 2014 season and what their 2015 outlook is. When the Tigers lost shortstop Jose Iglesias for the season, they made a move to acquire Andrew Romine to help shore up the position. While Romine filled in adequately given the Tigers’ last-minute need, he also didn’t prove to be anything more than a replacement player.

Andrew Romine 2014 Year in Review

2014 Projections and Performance
Perf/Proj PA WAR BA BAbip OBP SLG wOBA D-Val
ZiPS 501 0.4 .231 .287 .285 .292 .257 0
Steamer 421 N/A .255 N/A .309 .331 .293 -3.1
Oliver N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Actual 273 0.0 .227 .291 .279 .275 .253 1.2

Romine was a late spring acquisition after news came out that the Tigers starting shortstop, Jose Iglesias, could potentially miss the entire 2014 season due to fractures in both shins. He was not acquired with the expectation that he’d be a plus player, but rather a cost effective addition that wouldn’t cost the Tigers an arm and a leg while they evaluated internal options and waited to see if Iglesias might be able to come back toward the end of the season.

Romine was projected to be a light-hitting player that would provide solid defense, and that’s more or less what the Tigers got, though his hitting was even lighter than anticipated by the projections.

Romine bounced between being a starter and a late inning defensive replacement and then a starter again, ceding playing time to Eugenio Suarez during the summer months, but getting much of it back down the stretch as Suarez’s bat cooled and the Tigers prioritized Romine’s defense and baserunning.

The Tigers more or less got exactly what they should have expected out of Romine – a solid glove and good baserunner who was well below average at the plate. That’s acceptable for a last minute fill in, or for a utility infielder, but not a most days starting shortstop.

Andrew Romine 2015 Outlook

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible
Free Agent ETA: After 2019 Season

While Romine is 28 years of age, he’s never been more than a part-time, up-and-down player, and so he only had just over one year of service time accumulated prior to being acquired by the Tigers, so he’s still many years away from free agency.

That flexibility is valuable, as the Tigers can keep him around heading into spring to see how younger players like Suarez and Hernan Perez look, and ensuring Iglesias is fully recovered from the shin injury. But ultimately, Romine’s ceiling is that of a utility infielder.

The Tigers may need him to fill that role again in 2015, depending on how things play out elsewhere around the diamond. But he hasn’t proven to be so adept at the role that he’s a must keep player, and could even find himself on the cut list in spring training, depending on how everything else plays out.

2014 Projections came from three different sources; ZiPS, Steamer, and Oliver, all publicly available via FanGraphs.com and presented for information purposes only. ZiPS projections come from Dan Szymborski, Steamer from Steamer Projections, a trio of independent academic researchers, and Oliver Projections from Brian Cartwright.

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